Top 12 Coping With Stress Strategies

Top 12 Coping With Stress Strategies

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” –Peter Marshall

If you Google “Stress Management,” you’ll receive 54,100,000 or more results—a massive topic that shows how important this is to your wellbeing. And on a single site, such as WebMD, you’ll find more than 5,361 articles devoted to stress.

Why is this topic searched on, and talked and written about in such large numbers?

Because . . .

Stress Kills!

True story:

Many years ago, I worked in a high-pressure sales job. The money was great. We had company cars and expense accounts. But we also had seemingly unending and increasingly higher sales goals to meet.

Well one day, Sam, our highest achiever, dropped dead in the office. Just like that! To everyone’s horror, he fell flat on the floor, face down outside his cubicle.

What made his death so shocking was that Sam was an avid tennis player. So he got plenty of exercises. This tragedy baffled us.

What happened?

We learned later that the doctor said he died from chronic stress, or what’s referred to as, “acute stress hormone.”

He was only 55 years old.

*****  *****

What is stress?

“A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances” –Oxford English Dictionary

Consider these U.S. Stress Statistics

  • 77% percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress
  • 73% periodically experience psychological symptoms caused by tension
  • 33% feel they are living with extreme pressure
  • 48% believe their stress has increased over the past five years
  • 76% cited money and work as the leading cause of their emotional strain
  • 48% reported lying awake at night due to stress.

(Source: 2016 Statistics Brain Research Institute)

Stress Causes Workplace Violence!

From a survey conducted January 12, 2018:

  • 80% of workers feel stress on the job, and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress
  • 42% say their coworkers need help dealing with the daily job pressures.
  • 14% say they had at one time felt like striking a coworker, but didn’t
  • 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress.
  • 10% fear an individual at work could become violent.
  • 9% are aware of an assault or violent act in the workplace.
  • 18% have experienced some in-your-face threat or verbal intimidation in the past year.

(Source: The American Institute of Stress [AIS])

Add to the above statistics the fact that many feel less job security than ever before while working longer and harder. Many workers overcommit and stretch themselves too thin. Plus, some have awful bosses and hate their jobs.

Recipes for disaster!

Stress Makes Us Sick!

According to Jay Winner, MD, as reported by R. Morgan Griffin on WebMd.com, these are 10 of the most significant health problems due to stress:

  1. Heart disease (sudden emotional stress can be a trigger for heart problems).
  2. Asthma (stress can worsen asthma).
  3. Obesity (excess belly fat poses the more significant health risk).
  4. Diabetes (stress can worsen diabetes: increases lousy behavior and raises glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes directly).
  5. Headaches (stress is one of the most common triggers for tension headaches, including migraines).
  6. Depression and anxiety (chronic stress equates to higher rates of depression and anxiety, such as experienced by people with demanding work with few rewards; they have an 80% higher risk of developing depression within a few years).
  7. Gastrointestinal problems (stress doesn’t cause ulcers but makes them worse; also contributes to gastroesophageal reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome).
  8. Alzheimer’s disease (stress might worsen the condition; researchers speculate that reducing stress could slow down the progression of the disease).
  9. Accelerated aging (there’s evidence that stress can affect how you age; according to research, stress seemed to accelerate aging by 9 to 17 additional years).
  10. Premature death (a study looked at the health effects of stress by studying elderly caregivers looking after their spouses—people who are naturally under a great deal of stress and found that caregivers had a 63% higher rate of death than people their age who were not caregivers) **

What can you do?

How can you improve your health?

Dr. Winner shares” Four Ways to Fight Back Against Stress—and Improve Your Health”:

  1. Breathe deeply (Just a few minutes of deep breathing can calm you; you can do this anywhere. As you breathe out, you relax a specific muscle group. Start with them muscles in your jaw. On the next breath out, relax your shoulder. Move through the different areas of your body until you’re feeling calm.)
  2. Focus on the moment (Instead of worrying about the future, focus on what you’re doing right now. If you’re walking, feel the sensation of your legs moving, and so forth.)
  3. Reframe the situation (If you’re running late for an appointment and stuck in traffic, it won’t help to get all worked up. Look at that time as an opportunity to yourself.)
  4. Keep your problems in perspective (The next time you’re feeling stressed out, think about the things for which you are grateful. If you have family and friends, consider yourself fortunate. This can be a surprisingly effective method for stress relief.)

Also:

  1. Eat right.
  2. Get enough sleep.
  3. Exercise every day.
  4. Meditate/Pray.
  5. Listen to soothing music.
  6. Laugh.
  7. Take in the beauty of creation.
  8. Read * (my favorite way to relax)

There you have it: Top 12 Coping with Stress Strategies. Many of us experience enormous pressures in our daily lives. Use these and other tips to keep stress from leading to burnout in your life.

Cure Fatigue Naturally—In a Glass of Water!

Cure Fatigue Naturally—In a Glass of Water!

I’m tired!!! As a full-time caregiver, I found myself saying this over and over again.

Typically, I’d have concluded that I was doing too much. But that didn’t fit situation because I just did what was necessary.

One thing that happened is that my husband stirred restlessly at night. This situation caused me to get up about every two hours to ensure he was okay. Thus I didn’t get much sleep. This sleep deficiency is itself was stress on my mind and body, and this made it less likely I could handle the other pressures going on at the time.

To quote Shakespeare: “Sleep that knits up the reveled sleave of care. The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” (Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 2)

Sleep here symbolizes innocence, purity, and peace of mind.

Since I wasn’t getting the sleep I needed to refresh my mind and relax my body, I felt tired. I often thought in a constant state of fatigue and exhaustion.

Imagine how this affected my health! Of course, the simple answer would have been to get more sleep; however, getting eight hours of sleep was out of the question for me at that time.

Researchers have found that lack of sleep causes learning and memory problems, motor-skill impairment, and a weakened immune system. It makes you cranky and causes depression. And I had discovered that when I was tired, I was prone to make errors, which could have been severe—even deadly.

So if I was unable to get the recommended amount of sleep, what else could I do? What was the answer to my fatigue?

Drink More Water!

It’s right there in the kitchen sink. Usually, it’s available to everyone. It costs little, but can bring better health. And it’s one of our body’s most essential nutrients. Yes, it’s cool, clear water. Even health-conscious people often neglect the simple advice to drink more water..

It’s true that 70 percent of our body is made up of water. And the food we eat supplies water because many foods are made up mainly of water. For example, an egg is about 74 percent water. Did you know that? And what about a piece of steak? Well, it’s about 73 percent water. Fruit also supplies a lot of water, such as a watermelon that has 92 percent water.

But plain old water does great things for the body.

Consider these facts as expressed by many experts, including Kaiser Permanente Nephrologist, Steven Guest, MD:

Fact: Water helps to relieve fatigue because fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Less water causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood through the bloodstream; our other organs work less efficiently. Drinking more water helps your body function better and thus reduce fatigue.

Fact: Without sufficient fluid to flush out the by-products of cell metabolism, body cells can slowly become poisoned by their waste. The kidneys do a fantastic job of cleansing and ridding the body of toxins “as long as the intake of fluids is adequate,” according to Dr. Guest. Further, when your body is not getting enough fluids, “urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.”

Fact: Water helps energize muscles and build muscle tone; without the fluids, muscles don’t work well, and this results in muscle fatigue.

Fact: Water helps keep skin looking good. Dr. Guest says, “Dehydration makes the skin look more dry and wrinkled.”

Fact: Water, along with fiber, is necessary for digestion and helps prevent constipation. According to Dr. Guest, “When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration – the result is constipation.

With all of these health benefits, including less fatigue, I needed to drink more water!

Dr. Guest suggests these 5 tips:

  1. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more fluids.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables high in water content.
  4. Keep bottled water with you at all times.
  5. Choose drinks that meet your individual needs (for me, this meant calorie-free beverages and caffeine-free, sugar-free tea).

If you are a caregiver, as I was, or performing any duties that require that you’re on the go constantly, and you want to boost your energy (and who doesn’t?) and improve your overall health, you must drink more cool and refreshing, God-given water!

Finally

“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.” –Kevin R. Stone